Burmese cats emanate an endearing aura that will make anyone go “aww!”. They have large, cute eyes that express an innocent countenance, immediately catching you under their spell. What’s more, this breed have delightful personalities that go along with their cherubic profile. It has been said that these cats are very much similar to dogs in temperament and friendliness.
Having a smooth coat and stocky body, these cats originate in Asia. Everywhere you look you’ll see round features- the eyes, body, chin, the head and even their paws are perfectly round. Burmese can be divided into two subsets- the contemporary breed and the European breed. Europeans have a narrow muzzle and an even narrower head, while contemporaries have broader muzzles and rounder heads.
Also, European Burmese breeds have brighter coat colors such as red while contemporaries are almost exclusively brown.
History of Burmese Cats
In the 20s and 30s, a sailor brought his chocolate Burmese named Wong Mau from Burma. The cat was handed over to a certain Dr. Joseph Thompson, who believed that the cat was more than just a dark-coated Siamese. Along with fellow breeders, Dr. Thompson set out on a breeding programme that aimed to free Wong Mau from the assumption.
The kitty litter proved Dr. Thompson’s theory as correct. Wong Mau was mated with a Siamese and the result was a mixed collection of pure Siamese and hybrids. In the next mating using Wong Mau and one of her offspring, the litter produced three distinctive looks- brown coating without points, brown with points and Siamese. The kitten who had no markings became the basis of what would become the Burmese breed.
The CFA, or Cat Fanciers Association registered the breed in 1957. Today, all major cat registers recognize the Burmese, not there are some coat colors that aren’t in the books.
Size of the Burmese Cat
The Burmese belongs in the small- to mid-sized cat variety, weighing in at around 4 to 6 kilograms. Because these cats are well-built and muscular, you may be surprised when this cat is heavy when held. Strong shoulders and broad chests are the hallmarks of these cats. Some cat experts even compare them to bricks wrapped in silk coating, a testament to their substantial mass.
Personality of the Burmese
Despite their heavyset features, these cats are naturally friendly and affectionate. You’ll often find your cat trying to communicate with you using meows and purrs. They are truly entertaining and love to be around human companions. You can watch him leap up high on a bookcase or a cat tree, then after a few minutes settle down comfortably in your lap. If you’re always sitting or lounging on the couch watching TV, you can be sure that this cat will be right there with you, snuggling and enjoying your soft lap.
The Burmese will try its best to tell you what it wants and needs. They can carry somewhat intelligent conversations with humans using a rumbling, soft voice that changes in tone and pitch. Younger ones are infinitely curious and can easily adapt to family and environmental changes. They go slower as they grow up into adulthood, sometimes preferring just to sit around and watch things happen instead of being an active participant. Owners won’t need to hesitate petting them as they love to get belly rubs and scratches every now and then.
They are also intelligent and can handle puzzles and smart toys quite well. A window serves as an excellent spot for them; these cats can spend hours just looking out and observing anything and everything!
This cat variety won’t show their colors until they’re in the adult stage. Sometimes a dark spot appears when they are young, but then quickly disappear and add to the overall richness. Most kittens should only be accepted into new homes once they’re about 12 to 16 weeks and fully developed in terms of physiology and socialization. Moreover, these kittens should have full vaccination and health records before they’re given to new homes.
Young Burmese kittens are quite spirited, displaying both fearlessness and boundless energy and curiosity. More often than not they’ll be trying impossible feats and land on their bottoms or bump into things. They remain playful until they reach adulthood. A bit of the playfulness wanes out, giving way to intelligence. They will then develop into charming little bosses who will steal you and your family member’s hearts!
The Burmese breed is in general healthy but they aren’t immune to common cat conditions.
These cats may develop cardiovascular conditions such as endocardial fibroelastosis and dilated cardiomyopathy, which may be observed in cats that are under 6 months and inherited into the breed, respectively.
Keep an eye out for possible neurological problems as well. Your cat may suffer from abnormal ocular conditions and calcium oxalate urolithiasis, which is more common in Burmese cats than any other breed. Other than that, a healthy pet should live up to 20 years and give joy and happiness to its owner.
Care of the Burmese Cat
Daily petting is a must-do if you intend to take home a Burmese. They will require a bit more attention than the normal feline in order to be happy with their living conditions. Don’t be surprised if your pet starts following you around when you come home at the end of the day. If you leave your cat alone, you can expect to hear an earful as soon as you settle down on the sofa!
Pet owners should consider getting another animal as company if they won’t be in the house for long periods of time. Leave plenty of things to do, such as toys that stimulate the body and mind, a cat tree, a squeaky toy or a scratching post to keep your cat busy during the day.
This cat variety shouldn’t be left outdoors. Keep a close eye on them as they are very trusting, even with strangers. Moreover, their fearlessness and “try everything” attitude will place them in danger if left unsupervised.
Litter Box Training
Your cat will be exceptionally critical about his or her litter boxes’ cleanliness and placement in the house. They can be trained to use the litter especially during kittenhood. Cats are particular about hygiene, so make sure that the litter box is always clean and free of odor. Scoop out your pet’s poop every day and change it when needed. The box should be in a quiet spot in the house for privacy reasons. If one day your cat suddenly stops using the litter box, then it could be something that changed. Visit your vet in order to rule out medical conditions.
Burmese Cat Nutrition
Feeding your precious cat means you should do your research and buy only the highest quality food. Check the label thoroughly and ensure that all the needed nutrients are there. Also, the diet should be consistent with your pet’s age.
If you got your cat from a breeder, you should ask for the schedule and follow it without fail. Get the same cat food as what the breeder gave so your Burmese won’t get indigestion.
Thinking of changing your cat’s food? Introduce the new one gradually. If your pet starts exhibiting any adverse reactions, immediately go back to the original feed. Alternate between dry and wet food, and always have fresh, clean water on hand everytime. Keep an eye out on your cat’s weight and reduce the portion if they start adding pounds.
Coat Color and Grooming
The Burmese have such a wide spectrum of colors, which is divided roughly into 4 types. There’s the Blue with gray shades and fawn undertones, Champagne with bold beige hues, Platinum with pale grey shades and a fawn undertone and Sable with dark brown tints.
The coats themselves are short and have a fine, silky texture. Glossy coat is one of the hallmarks of this cat breed. Underparts and shading are gradual, with no notable mask, spotting or bar features. A bit of white is acceptable.
Groom your cat with a weekly brush to keep it tangle-free and healthy. A suitable rubber brush should do the job well.
Burmese Cat Grooming
It doesn’t take a massive effort to keep your pet in good shape. Trim your cat’s nails regularly each week and clean the ears out if necessary. A gentle cleanser should do the trick. Brush your cat’s teeth using a vet-approved toothbrush and toothpaste everyday. If you got a kitten, start the grooming process early so they wouldn’t make a fuss later on.
Children and Other Pets
Given its genial nature and outgoing personality, the Burmese will prove to be a great fit in households that have pets and small children. They can quickly become your child’s favorite playmate, getting pushed around in a tram or settling in for tea time. Remember, this breed loves to be petted and don’t mind the occasional clumsy bumps every now and then. Moreover, they won’t really care if there’s a dog in the house as long as it’s not too rowdy. Introducing a Burmese to another cat breed may be a hit or a miss- make sure to do a slow introduction and provide extra litter boxes and feeding bowls if necessary.